Saturday, September 30, 2006

Solar flares to disrupt GPS in 2011

Navigation, power and communications systems that rely on GPS satellite navigation will be disrupted by violent solar activity in 2011.  A study reveals Global Positioning System receivers to be unexpectedly vulnerable to bursts of radio noise produced by solar flares, created by explosions in the Sun's atmosphere.  When solar activity peaks in 2011 and 2012, it could cause widespread disruption to aircraft navigation and emergency location systems that rely heavily on satellite navigation data.  Particularly intense solar activity occurs roughly every 11 years due to cyclic changes to the Sun's magnetic field – a peak period known as the solar maximum.  Solar flares send charged particles crashing into the outer fringes of the Earth's atmosphere at high velocity, generating auroras and geomagnetic storms.


You can read the complete story at


In a related story:
It appears the solar activity has already reached Dallas Texas as the local police have lost one of their bait cars which is tracked by a GPS device in the vehicle.  While some police departments dress up plain clothes officers to impersonate ‘ladies of the evening’ in attempts to arrest those who pay for their services, other departments park vehicles with hidden surveillance equipment in high crime areas to catch car thieves.  When the vehicles are stolen, the equipment records (audio and video) the criminal activity.  The GPS unit broadcasts the speed and location of the vehicle so the good guys and arrest the bad guys.


Two days ago, reported that one of the Dallas Police Department’s bait cars has been lost due to the GPS location unit failing.  Lt. Rick Watson stated, "We want the car stolen. Yes, we do. But, then we want it recovered with the individual that stole it." Also, police don't want to give away any info on the car, as doing so would make it almost impossible to use again if its recovered. "Really what we are hoping for right now is the individual that took it - doesn't realize what he has," said Watson.


So, not only is everything bigger in Texas, they appear to be ahead of their time as well!

share on: facebook

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

For my buddy Joe

SpeakerA very near and dear friend of mine told me I needed to update my blog more regularly, since he checks it every day.  With that ‘challenge’, I had to come up with the perfect post and dedicate it to him.  Joe works for Stillwater Designs, the manufacturer of the world famous Kicker speakers.  What better entry to dedicate to a Kicker employee than one covering a DIY (do it yourself) project of creating a folding speaker enclosure.


Yep, make your own speaker box out of paper, and I’ll even provide a template for you to use!  At you can find step by step (all four of them) instructions on making your own speaker enclosures. From the site:

"...the box is an 80mm cube but it could be any size you like just choose the card thickness to suite the size of the box. Although this was made from card you could just as well use polypropylene as a harder wearing material, you can often buy stationary folders made from polypropylene that you can recycle."

Here is the template I promised:


The only other thing it needs is a Kicker Livin’ Loud logo  Kicker-ll

share on: facebook

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Two weeks from today

Two weeks from today is one of the major "daddy-daughter dates" of 2006! Sarah and I will be taking a road trip to Enid to help out with an 89.7 The House (radio station) concert featuring BarlowGirl. This will be the third BarlowGirl concert Sarah and I have attended in the past couple of years. Sarah normally helps out as a volunteer with World Vision type of tables. I, on the other hand, work security for the artists, so this will be third time I have got to hang out with the Barlow sisters and their parents.

I am awful with song lyrics, unless I have the chance to read the lyrics as I listen to the song the first several times. Since I like to put together websites, I took a few minutes to put together a "BarlowGirl Lyrics" site at Take a peek at it if you like, and even listen to some of the sample clips I found at BarlowGirl website.

14 days and counting........


share on: facebook

Friday, September 22, 2006

How is this for advertising?

Somebody at Bic is very creative


share on: facebook

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

International "Talk Like a Pirate Day" was yesterday

Haven't you heard that "Talk Like a Pirate Day" falls on September 19th every year? I had, but I completely forgot about it until the end of the day so I wasn't able to share the joy with all those around me. I am on one particular joke email list that I receive as a digest once a day. The digest I received this morning (of yesterday's messages) was full of pirate jokes. The best one had to be:
A man walks into a pet store and says, "I'm playing Long John Silver in the play Treasure Island, and I'm looking for a parrot. Can you sell me one?"

The pet store owner says, "You don't want a real parrot, it'll squawk all the time and poop on your shoulder, and what if it falls off during the play?"

The man says, "Well, I want to be as realistic as possible."

The pet store owner says, "I've got a stuffed parrot you can use. Can you pick it up on Thursday?"

"Oh, I can't come on Thursday. That's when I'm getting my leg cut off."

share on: facebook

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Let's say I break into your house......

A lady wrote the best letter in the Editorials in ages!! It explains things better than all the baloney you hear on TV. Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely. Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.
Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors; I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

According to the protesters, not only must you let me stay, you must add me to your family's insurance plan, educate my kids, and provide other benefits to me and to my family (my husband will do your yard work because he too is hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my right to be there. It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm hard-working and honest, um, except for well, you know.

And what a deal it is for me!! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness, prejudice and being an anti-housebreaker.

Oh yeah, and I want you to learn my language so you can communicate with me!!
Why can't people see how ridiculous this is?! Only in America....

if you agree, pass it on (in English).
share on: facebook

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's Gametime!

Real-darth-maulOsu-darth-maulOne of my many duties at OSU is to process the multiple broadcast messages sent out to various groups (student, staff, faculty, as well as sub-sets).  This week marked the second issue of a message to all students reminding them of the home football game today (OSU vs Florida Atlantic Univ).  The subject line of the message, quite appropriately, was “It’s Gametime!”


When I received and opened this week’s message, I was quite surprised when I saw an black and orange (instead of red) Darth Maul.  Who would have thought that Darth Maul was an OSU fan?  I would have expected him to be an OU fan, since he is on the dark side of The Force.  (sorry about that one Mom, but I had to go there!)


I don’t get to decide content of messages, I just act as a letter carrier delivering the mail to the intended recipients.  Ever since I hit the send button (yes, Joe … I removed the “Approval Copy” text), I have wondered how many others got a small fright when they opened their mail that Thursday afternoon.  If you would like to see the complete message that was sent out to over 24,000 students, you can view it here.


Note: I actually get to attend the game today.  A very generous friend gave me three very nice tickets.  I have asked Joe and Kevin to go with me, since I haven’t had a chance to spend much time with either of them lately.  Today should be a good day! 

share on: facebook

Friday, September 15, 2006

A good ending to a lousy week

Ok, I've mentioned before that I am biking to work each day (unless attire or weather prohibits it). This evening's trip home provided for some fun and bragging rights.

So, I'm on the way home riding along Hall of Fame Avenue (eastbound) stopped at the traffic light at N. Main St (Map of Fun). When I ride, I ride on the street as opposed to sidewalks when they are available. While waiting for the light to turn green a college kid (ck) rode up beside me, but on the sidewalk. He started some small talk:
CK: Nice bike
Me: Thanks ... that's a nice looking mountain bike you got there.
CK: Is your bike fast?
Me: Yeah, I guess so
CK: (mumbles something)
Me: What?
CK: How old are you?
Me: 41, why? How old are you?
CK: 20. wanna race to Perkins Road? (0.4 miles away)
Me: Yeah, whatever.

The light turns green and CK is in a higher gear, so each rotation of the pedals for him is better speed. I, on the other hand, am in a lower gear so I can get going without a bunch of effort. CK starts pulling away from me a little and jumps off the curb and into the street in front of me. we both are going through the gears, but I have 24 to his 18. I caught up with him at the railroad tracks (about 2/3 distance to Perkins)

Me: You in your top gear? (between breaths)
CK: Yeah
Me: I've got a few more, see you at the light!

I jacked up to 24th gear and, with the same pedal cadence, pulled away from CK enough to show him "who's boss" ;-)

At the light I told him "good race" to which he agreed and then I gave him one of my personal business cards which has all of my biking information about the Amputees Across America ride from July (past posts 1, 2, 3 and 4). While talking with CK, I made sure to control my breathing, so my "out-of-shapeness" didn't show. After CK turned south on Perkins, I started sucking wind like the 41 year old I am. A guy in a pick-up next to me rolled down his window, said "nice race" and asked if I wanted to throw my bike in the back and get a ride. I told him that I was a short distance from home, so no thanks.

I was still sucking wind so bad when I got home that Renee thought something was wrong. When I told her about the race, she said the only thing wrong was me trying to act like a 20 year old!
share on: facebook

My brother's theme song

Listen to the song (complements of
<-- Audio only or YouTube video

"My Cubicle"
Lyrics by: Morning Sidekick
Performed by: Jym Britton
Parody on "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt

My job is stupid my day's a bore,
Inside this office from eight to four
Nothin' ever happens my life is pretty bland,
Pretending that I'm working, pray I don't get canned.

My Cubicle, My cubicle
It’s one of sixty-two
It’s my small space in a crowded place
Just a six-by-six foot booth
And I hate it that’s the truth

When I give a sigh as the boss walks by,
no one ever talks to me or looks me in the eye.
And I really should work but instead
I just sit here and surf the Internet.

In My Cubicle, My cubicle
It doesn't have a view.
It’s my small space in a crowded place
I sit in solitude.
And sometimes I sit here nude.
        (personal note: EEWWWW!)
share on: facebook

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I had an epiphany (no, it didn’t hurt)

The church I attend has a function called Caravan for the younger kids on Wednesday nights. It is somewhat like scouts, in the fact they earn badges for various projects/activities. Somehow I got volunteered to help out with the Technology badge. Tonight was the first night for technology, and was to cover how computers work and benefit people.

The ‘script’ I was given was basically a bullet point list of terms (CPU, monitor, hard drive, mouse, keyboard, etc) with very basic definitions for each, but lacked any explanation of what they do. It was up to me (it felt like anyways) to make the 45 minutes enjoyable, instead of root-canal painful. From the little paperwork I was given, I have been worried about how I was going to fill the last 30 minutes of the overall 45. I did have a couple of old computers at my disposal (key word!).

Monday evening was the moment of my epiphany. I felt like I had come up with a great method to explain the key components of the computer:
       CPU: brain of the computer (common analogy)
       Hard disk drive (HDD): the toy box
       RAM: their floor (or other area to play)

Before any of the kids could play a game, they had to use their brain to think of the game (double click the icon). Once you know what game you are going to play, you go to the toy box to get it (CPU accesses HDD to get a copy of the application) and you spread it out on the floor / table / whatever (CPU moves copy of application to RAM for quicker access during use of application).

During the talk, since I had ‘disposable’ PCs, out came the pieces. First was an old AMD 5x86 processor chip complete with heat-sync and fan (I said they were old machines) when I started talking about the brain. I passed this around while we talked about it. Next, as we were discussing various computer programs and games, I was removing the screws to take out the hard drive (toy box). Last was the removal of the two memory cards, which represented their floor. The more floor space, the more toys you can have out at one time. The difficult part came when I showed off a memory card from a laptop computer and tried to explain that even though it was much smaller, it was able to store several times the amount of information. Monitors, keyboards, mice and removable storage devices (diskettes, CD-Roms and DVDs) were discussed somewhat, but without the clever analogies

The hit of the presentation was when I removed my Pocket PC device from it’s ‘holster’ and shared how it’s brain, toy box and floor was “way more” than the big computer we just got through taking apart.

All in all, I think it was a pretty good evening. In two weeks we will discuss PowerPoint and the ‘sound booth’. To complete their requirements for a badge, they have to help create a small PowerPoint presentation or help run the sound board one Sunday morning.
share on: facebook

Updates via Email

If you would to receive an email whenever I post new content, input your email address here and click on the Subscribe button:

powered by RssFwd

share on: facebook

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

FEMA recommendation for New Orleans

It might just work....

share on: facebook

Sunday, September 10, 2006

On the road again

Being that I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to do, I have failed to share about my bike riding since the trip to Dallas in early July.

The first week after the trip were spend without any riding time, as a chance to take a break. Then, when the 100+ degree heat hit, I decided that biking wasn’t needed for health reasons. The first Sunday in August found me taking a trip to the emergency room as a result of a bad fall and twisted knee at church earlier that day (nothing broken, just messed up tendons and ligaments). Due to the fall, I was cautioned not to wear my prosthetic leg for 7–10 days. Luckily the church had a wheelchair I could borrow for that time period.

A few weeks after I was back on my feet (excuse the pun), I was asked if I could assist the church softball team so they would have enough players to field the game. Yep, the first week of the month I was in a wheelchair and the end of the month saw me playing softball!

This week I decided to start riding my bike to work again. The first day back on the bike, I would have sworn that the campus had been a few miles further away from my house than it had been in June (the fact I took off riding at sprint speed probably didn’t help any!).

This weekend I decided to see how some distance riding felt. Yesterday morning’s ride was a short one of about 14 miles and this evening’s was longer at 32.5 miles. Both rides felt really good, especially considering the fact the miles were true road miles, instead of laps around Boomer Lake.

I plan to continue riding to work each day, unless I have to wear some really nice clothes (slacks and tie) or if the day looks to include rain in the forecast.
share on: facebook

Thursday, September 07, 2006

So wrong that it hurts

I’m sorry, but when I saw this cartoon this morning, I had to share it immediately
share on: facebook

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New look and feel

If you didn't notice, I have made a major overhaul in my blog template. I have my old design backed up, but thought I would throw this out here for comments.


Reminder of old look:

share on: facebook